diversity at school

Promoting diversity at school makes it possible to fight against educational inequalities, by suggesting a strategy based on non-formal and informal learning (the “outside school” learning) which complement formal learning (taught at school) to change the image of young people in society, and in particular those who sometimes feel stigmatized. The aim is to give all young people, whatever their profile or the territory in which they live, the same opportunities to build a personal, social and professional future. A transversal and holistic approach is therefore essential.
Key concepts and notions must be known - formal, non-formal and informal education and learning; equal opportunities or dropping out of school. School exclusion induces all other forms of exclusion, social and economic, and can lead young people to delinquency, other forms of exploitation or radicalization. The analysis must be multidisciplinary, with a diversity of public actors responsible for youth policies and the support of youth associations with diverse profiles.The scope of youth policies must also be clearly defined in order to integrate all the parameters to be taken into account.
The fight against school failure has become a key issue in France and in Europe. The French pedagogical reference is the Base for Knowledge and Skills which allows teachers to be able to assess their students according to their level of study (elementary school up to the baccalaureate). At a European level, the fight against academic failure is a priority, and a foundation of the Erasmus + program (school and university education). Since 2000, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has conducted an international comparison ( PISA program) which assesses the skills of pupils; it has been supplemented by the TALIS studies which focus more specifically on social and emotional skills and on the notion of leadership in order to closely associate pupils, teachers and parents with academic success. Equal opportunities to promote real diversity in schools also means training future citizens who are enlightened, critical thinking, and well-informed. Two teachings are strategic: moral and civic education (MCE) and Education to media and information (EMI). Several European projects (Erasmus + program) have developed tools and methods to support young people and their educators to fight against dropping out of school by developing extracurricular activities that allow them to acquire the knowledge and skills that are required and assessed at school. They are also meant to change the role and representation youngsters may have of themselves. Involving young people, as part of extra-curricular activities, in voluntary activities is one of the best ways to open them up to otherness and diversity.